Aleksandar Tonev: SFA tribunal break to consider racism ban ruling

Aleksandar Tonev played in Celtic's 1-0 win over Partick Thistle
Aleksandar Tonev started in Celtic's 1-0 win over Partick Thistle on Wednesday

Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev must wait to learn if his appeal against a seven-match suspension on a racism charge will be successful.

The 24-year-old Bulgarian was found guilty of abusing Aberdeen's Shay Logan by a Scottish FA judiciary panel.

An appellate tribunal gathered at Hampden on Thursday evening to hear submissions on the player's behalf.

Following the adjournment of the meeting, a statement promised a ruling "within the next two weeks".

Tonev, on loan from Aston Villa, attended the hearing and is free to continue playing until a verdict is reached.

The "excessive misconduct" charge Tonev is disputing is for using "offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature" towards Logan when Aberdeen visited Celtic Park in September.

"We have to be sure about the things that have actually been said," was the opinion of Celtic manager Ronny Deila just hours before the tribunal met.

"If not, then it's a very hard penalty to get when we don't know what is right or wrong. It could be a misunderstanding."

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes declined to comment on the case during his Thursday media conference.

Celtic have suggested they could involve the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) if they are unhappy with the SFA tribunal's decision.

When asked earlier this week if Celtic would involve Cas, Deila said: "We'll see, this is a very serious accusation.

Tonev was found guilty of abusing Logan during a match at Celtic Park on 13 September
Tonev was found guilty of abusing Logan during a match at Celtic Park on 13 September

"We will have to do everything in our power to get this away from Alex, we believe him.

"It's been word against word and they are thinking the other guy is telling the truth and Tonev is lying, and for me that's not how a court should be. For me it should be real proof.

"We don't believe Aleksandar is a racist."

Cas is an independent international body with its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, established to settle disputes related to sport.

Tonev made his first start for Celtic since 2 October in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

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